Carl Russell

George, I have had good luck building semi permanent log water bars. I have attached a pic, but using a 6″-8″ log that extends across the trail. Dig down the soil to make a trench the size of the log and back-fill on the downhill side. The pic doesn’t show it, but I have used 2-3″ pegs cut from saplings to bracket the log on each side of the trail. The uphill side of the log needs to be carved down for a channel for water to run in.

These water bars will last pretty well during a harvest, but they can be pretty abrupt for wheeled vehicles. If the log is placed across the trail at the same angle as the slope on which it is placed, then water will run for the best effect, and you won’t hit both wheels at once.

I built many like this for years, and they are good for temporary devices during a harvesting season, but they really are inadequate for the long haul as they can fill in, and heavy rain events can jump them as they are only 6-8″ deep.

They take longer to build than the style that Brad has described, but you only need to kick out the loose dirt after a day of skidding, and they will outlast skidding logs. I use any species, pine, spruce, hemlock, or even hardwoods.

If the bump is too abrupt, and second log can be placed 4-6″ away, parallel, to make an open-topped box-culvert.

Simple to build, just takes a bit of time.

One rule of thumb in regard to slope and frequency of placement: Standing on one water bar looking up hill, level with your eyesight is the approximate location for the next water bar. The more the better. Once water gets in the trail it is a continual management problem.

I believe that one product of timber harvest should be improved access…. not the opposite, so whatever you can do before harvest starts will be time/money well spent.

Good luck, Carl

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